Do the correlates of smoking cessation counseling differ across health professional groups?
INTRODUCTION: Smoking cessation counseling by health professionals is an effective approach to increase cessation rates among smokers. To guide the development of training and educational interventions, we surveyed six health professional groups including general practitioners (GPs), pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, nurses, and respiratory therapists, in order to describe current practices and identify the correlates of smoking cessation counseling. METHODS: Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to 500 persons randomly selected from the membership lists of active licensed professionals in each health professional group in Québec. RESULTS: Response proportions ranged from 52% (nurses) to 70% (dental hygienists). Compared with other groups, GPs and pharmacists undertook more counseling with patients ready to quit. GPs and respiratory therapists undertook more counseling with patients not ready to quit. Three factors emerged consistently across most groups as positively associated with counseling, including the belief that counseling is the role of health professionals, perceived self-efficacy to engage in effective counseling, and knowledge of community cessation resources. DISCUSSION: The correlates of cessation counseling are similar across health professional groups. Interventions that address beliefs that cessation counseling is the role of health professionals, self-efficacy to provide effective counseling, and knowledge of community resources may result in improved cessation counseling practices among health professionals.
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